‘Rain sets us up for a good start’ for planting

Farmers foresee ‘big wave’ of planting coming soon

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Justin Remus of rural New Ulm sorts seeds in his shop Wednesday.

NEW ULM — Brown County Corn and Soybean Board member and seed dealer Justin Remus of rural New Ulm was busy with other board members in his shop Wednesday, sorting seed corn for county corn test plots.

A couple inches of rain that recently fell in the area makes him hopeful about spring planting in the coming days.

“We got the soil moisture profile built back up. At the least, the rain sets us up for a good start. Some guys got in (planted) early. We’ll see if this hard driving rain causes any issues with early, emerging plants,” Remus said.

“Quite a few beans and some small grains went in. I think they’ll be pretty safe. A few guys planted corn. We might see a slight emergence if we get some crusting if it dries off real fast,” he added.

“We’ll need a moderate rain in another week or ten days for the early-planted stuff. I think most guys are getting ready to get up and rolling (planting) after things dry out from this rain. Maybe Saturday or Sunday. We got about 2.2 inches here (a few miles west of New Ulm),” Remus said.

“The big wave (planting) is coming. We’ll get the county corn plot situated today (Wednesday, April 17). I think we’ve got one of the best plots in Minnesota as far as bringing in an independent look at hybrids. We’ve got more than a dozen hybrids we look at. We’ll share the information with the grower group. This is a yield trial, seeing how they match up year to year,” he added.

A Minnesota Soybean Board representative for Brown County, Remus said plots include corn on soybeans, corn on corn and soybean on corn.

Courtland farmer Tim Waibel said he put some soybeans in the ground before the last rain.

“With the warm soil, I think a guy has nothing to worry about putting soybeans in. It’s typical for this area to get a couple cold days. We’ll start (planting) corn after the cool spell and it dries up,” Waibel said.

He said corn and bean prices could be a lot better.

“We’re running at a real tough break even. We can’t do it too long. Inflation on fuel, parts and everything is hurting us. Young families have to make choices in this environment. Wages went up but they aren’t keeping up with inflation for the most part,” Waibel added.

“We’ll get the corn and beans in the ground and hope Mother Nature keeps giving us timely rain for a good outcome in November,” he said.

Minnesota Soybean Growers President Bob Worth of Lake Benton said the rain earlier this week was ideal.

“We got 1.6 inches of rain. It was perfect, came down beautifully, just what we needed to replenish the soil. It’s encouraging. Southwest Minnesota has been dry for three years,” Worth said.

“Believe it or not, ponds and lakes that were really low are filling. We had late March snow that helped,” he added.

Worth said a few farmers started planting corn.

“Some waited because it’s supposed to get pretty cold this week, which isn’t good for corn and soybeans. Then everybody will get going as fast as they can,” he added.

Worth said a lot of fertilizer is being spread.

Prices are another story.

“Some markets are terrible. Corn for sure. Soybeans to a degree. Input costs are so high compared to prices, it’s really tough,” he added.

“I really feel for young guys. We can’t afford to lose more young farmers. It was like this back in the 1980s,” Worth said.

He said the Farm Bill is badly needed.

“Our Minnesota politicians are working on it. They really understand it,” Worth added.

South Central College Farm Business Management instructor Wayne Schoper said the soil temperature is just about right to start planting.

“This weekend, most will be rolling (planting) hard. The drought has tempered down. Frost is out of the ground. We sure didn’t have much frost this year,” he added.

Schoper said corn prices are still under the cost of production, which he estimated to be about $4.50 this year.

“We’ve got a lot of corn to move before July and August. We need a bit stronger price. There is big demand, but there are big surpluses too,” he added.


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